Establishing a firm footing in the country within two years of starting operations under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, US giant Apple will close FY23 with iPhone exports in excess of `37,000 crore, which will be 236% higher than the last fiscal.
With this, the total mobile exports from the country during the current fiscal is set to cross `80,000 crore, which will be higher than the government’s estimate of `75,000 crore. On a year-on-year basis, the total exports will be up 75%. South Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics is the other major global smartphone exporter under the scheme.
According to industry estimates, at `78,375 crore, mobile exports have already crossed the `75,000-crore mark during April-February. In February alone, smartphone exports exceeded `8,000 crore.
iPhones are manufactured in India by its three contract manufacturers – Foxconn, Pegatron (both located in Tamil Nadu) and Wistron (located in Karnataka). All three are in their second year of the five-year smartphone PLI scheme announced by the government in 2020.
Going by the current figures, it is clear that Apple’s contract manufacturers will also exceed their cumulative production targets – domestic and exports – of `47,041 crore under the PLI scheme.
Apple has expanded its exports in a phased manner, hitting the $1-billion mark for the five-month – April-August 2022 – period. It then increased its exports to an average of $0.5 billion each month from September to November 2022, finally accelerating to nearly $1 billion of iPhone exports in December 2022. It has maintained the $1-billion run rate since then.
Increasing domestic production for global exports was one of the key policy objectives of the PLI scheme. Smartphone exports from India are now targeting consumers in some of the most sophisticated and developed markets, including the UK, Italy, France, West Asia, Japan, Germany and Russia.
The government has put in place 14 PLI schemes, of which the smartphone PLI scheme is considered the flagship scheme with a budgetary allocation of `40,995 crore over a five-year period between 2021-2026. In total, the government has allocated approximately `2 trillion across the 14 schemes and an additional `76,000 crore for the semiconductor incentive scheme.
This scheme has also resulted in massive expansion of the Apple ecosystem in India, which has already contributed over 100,000 direct jobs – a vast majority of them in the last 20 months since August 2021.